Side Hustles for the Holidays
- By Barbara Ann
Every mother goes through a variety of emotions after childbirth. These feelings range from everything like excitement to awe, love, bliss, fear, and even pain. The presence of difficult feelings to process such as sadness is nothing to be ashamed of. Having such difficult feelings a few weeks after giving birth is normal because your hormones are still going through some changes. However, if this goes on for several more weeks along with feelings of anxiety, then you may want to get checked for Postpartum Depression.
One important takeaway is that no woman should ever feel like they are less of a mother or nurturer because they’re going through this very difficult phase. It’s perfectly natural, and each body reacts differently when subjected to different environments, experiences, and hormones. There will always be an abundance of chances where we can make peace with ourselves, heal, and move forward.
1 in 7 women experiences Postpartum Depression. Symptoms of postpartum depression include but are not limited to:
Feeling depressed or down for weeks or longer
You’ll find that for weeks on end, you will experience having little to no interest in things that use to excite you. This may also be accompanied by lack of energy.
Having trouble concentrating or completing routines or tasks
Keeping the razor-sharp focus on the task at hand can seem like a very daunting task these days, and it’s no wonder why - your mind is clearly somewhere else. Falling out of your usual routines and having your patience run thing for small tasks will be the new normal during this point in time.
Being distant or withdrawn from your family and friends
All of a sudden, the company you adored will turn out to be the company you can’t stand. You’ll start to withdraw from your tight circle of friends and social gatherings, favoring the solace of your home instead of the lovely party scenes or vibrant brunches.
Loss of appetite
Your usual cravings and comfort meals are thrown out the window at this point. You will have little to no appetite for a little bit, which could be a good thing if you’ve always wanted to try reducing your usual intake. Skipping meals however is something that should be avoided. Stay healthy by trying to eat even just a little bit when mealtime comes creeping around the corner. Lack of interest in the baby
Here comes the most difficult part to process – having little to no interest in your little bundle of joy. You’ll go from worrying about why it is you can’t relate to your own baby to not being able to stand to be in the same room with them. Postpartum depression is all about learning how to deal with living life with your baby outside of the womb, and it’s very different from when you two were together. It will take time, but you will heal.
Feeling angry or irritable
Sudden outbursts will hit the surface more often than you’d like, and days, where your head feels heated from the mundane, will start to become more frequent. Learn how to keep your temper in check – breathing exercises should help, apart from some sunshine and healthy meals.
Changes in sleeping habits
If you had difficulty sleeping on time before, having postpartum depression will make that look like playtime. Try to avoid being reliant on sleeping pills during this time. Your body is trying to adjust to life without a baby in the belly during sleeping time, so it’s still trying to figure out the best time, position, what have you. Be patient, and give yourself the rest you deserve.
Feelings of worry and anxiety
These anxiety attacks may come from even the little things, and it’s okay – life after giving birth is full of new emotions, a new body, and so many things that need getting used to. Soon, your panic attacks will dissipate. Until then, keep a calm head and know that everything will sort itself out soon.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, talk to your doctor or mental health professional about it. You can also try these lifestyle changes to help reduce the symptoms of PPD:
Eating nourishing meals at regular times
Taking care of yourself should always be at the very top of your list. The saying “you are what you eat” holds true – eat great food and you’ll end up feeling great, too.
Bonding with supportive family and friends
Surrounding yourself with people who love and care for you is a sure-fire way to get your spirits lifted. Share a good laugh and reminisce about the good times – sometimes a night in with good friends is all you need to reset and start anew.
Getting enough hours of sleep
The worst thing you could possibly do during this time is to deprive your body of the rest it so desperately needs. Getting enough sleep will not only help the healing process move on faster but will put you in a better mood.
Exercising as often as you can
This will be able to keep you fit, happy, and healthy, as exercise has been proven to help your body release Oxycontin – a chemical that perks up your mood.
Asking others to watch your baby when you really need a break. When it gets a little too tough, it’s okay to ask for a timeout. Ask someone to watch over your little one so you can take a breather, and even try breastfeeding if you feel you’re ready. Baby steps.
AUTHOR BIO Your friendly neighborhood Shero.